Thanksgiving 2022

Hello Everyone.

Here in America Thanksgiving is this Thursday. I’d like to share a few things with you. First a story, then a prayer and a Hymn’s playlist I found.

This story is really about an analogy from a sermon my Pastor preached. Last year we were at a multi church Thanksgiving Eve service, during his time to preach he spoke on a division using an analogy about Thanksgiving dinner. I’d like to share that analogy to the best of my recollection as I think it is useful not just in the body of Christ but in the world as well.

The analogy basically goes like this…

“At Thanksgiving when we all gather at the table with many different side dishes, we all pass around the food. Now when the cranberry sauce comes to me I just pass them along to the next person without taking any. What I don’t do is announce, “cranberry sauce is gross. It totally ruins the flavors of the other food. It makes no sense for the plate. Anyone who puts that on their plate is foolish.”

The most important reason not to do this is that they would send me away from the table. I want to stay at the table with my family.”

What a valuable lesson. Let’s not divide on the secondary stuff, stay true to the chore values and love each in our disagreements over the little things.

Now for the rest of what I am a sharing.

A Prayer:
Thanks for Blessings Past and Present

Lord God, we gather around this table to humbly thank You for all that You have given us this past year – not just what is on this table, but who is sitting around this table. Thank you for life and laughter, for health and happiness, for relationships and memories. Thank you, too, for the lessons learned and the tears we’ve cried because of Your ability to grow us through them. Thank You for Your comfort and Your presence, in light of good days and bad. Thank You for what we have now, for what we had yesterday, and for what You will continue to give tomorrow. Let us never take that for granted, but to always be grateful for every good and perfect gift that comes from You. May we have hearts full of thanksgiving not only today but every day of our lives. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Amen. – Cindy McMenamin

Source: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/7-thanksgiving-prayers-encouraging-and-inspiring.html

Hymns for Thanksgiving: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqk7PmhxKRBd_YoC5DWgrd9jkLkE9OhPk

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

-Chris

Luke 18:9-14 Bible Study Guide

Hello Everyone,

This Wednesday Night at my church I will be leading a Bible Study on Luke 18:9-14. I wrote a study guide this morning so I would like to share that with you for this week’s entry. Hopefully the questions can help you think about the text in a more in-depth way.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Luke 18:9-14
New International Version
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Questions

-When you read this parable what comes to your mind? What are your first thoughts?

-Let’s compare the two people in this parable. 

-For me there seems to be a common trend of Jesus speaking up against arrogant religious leaders. How can this be a cautionary tale to us as Christians especially in leadership?

-Do you think the pharisee was a bad person or perhaps just misguided?

-Is it possible to become so focused on God’s commandments that we forget God’s grace?

-This may be a tough one. What’s some tips and guides we can all use to stay humble while not sacrificing our integrity?

-Tell me some of your closing thoughts.

-Prayer 

High Standards, Higher Grace

At Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturday we planned on discussing Matthew 5-7 but in the end we didn’t even get through Chapter 5 because there is so much to unpack.

One point that was brought up was the difficulty of doing a lot of what Jesus is saying.

During the discussion it came to me, “high standards, higher grace”.

We do have high standards to follow as Christians but the Grace of God far exceeds are failures.

This does not give us a license to sin or ignore God’s commands.

No it should give you hope and more reason to follow God’s commands. Because while God’s standards are high it’s not just His grace that is higher but His love and His mercy.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Matthew Chapter 5:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205&version=NIV

So What Are You Going To Do About It?

My Pastor yesterday preached a great sermon yesterday on Isaiah 1:1,10-20. There is a lot I could unpack as there is a lot that stood out to me but the truth is I want to focus on one part at least for now.

A little note on my Pastor, he likes to stay informed. He listens and reads to all different sides of an issue to understand things. During the sermon he mentioned how people love to call into radio programs and complain, they get very worked up and angry. They complain, vent and complain some more. One particular radio host likes to ask the caller at the end of their rant, “Now what are you going to do about it?”

I don’t know who that radio host is or what they believe but what a great question to ask.

We get upset, angry, grieved about the sins of the world and we are justified in those emotions. There is so much evil, pain and sorrow in the world.

But after thinking about these things lets ask ourselves, “Now what are you going to do about it?”

What we need to do about it is follow Christ and live a self sacrificial life of servitude to God. Spreading the Gospel not just in our words but in our actions. Love people, take care of people, tell them about their savior.

Because the true answer to the question, “Now what are you going to do about it?” is what God wants me to do about it.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – Isaiah 5:1-7

Tuesday – Psalm 82

Wednesday – Hebrews 11:29-12:2 (Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16)

Thursday – Luke 12:49-56

Orthodox Easter

Usually on Thursdays I re-post an old entry for “Throwback Thursday”. However instead this week I am going to post an article of something that is a Throwback to my old life. I grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church and I get a lot of questions when I mention this so today I will be posting an article about “Orthodox Easter”.

Without further ado here is the article…

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/orthodox-easter-origin-and-date.html